President's Message Regarding Challenger Soccer Camp, News (Kincardine District Minor Soccer)

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President's Message Regarding Challenger Soccer Camp
Submitted By John Adams on Monday, June 29, 2015

It is my sad duty to have to inform you of a recent change that will directly affect a number of area soccer players currently signed up for the popular Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp advertised on our website and throughout our club. We have been informed by Challenger Sports that at this time, they may not be able to run our Soccer Camp on the 6th July 2015. Not only does it take away the opportunity for each of our soccer players to develop to a higher level but also causes parents to re -plan their summer activities .

At this point we are awaiting final confirmation from Challenger, who have advised us that they will make their decision regarding our camp on Wed, 1st July 2015 . That decision will result in one of two options for camp attendees already booked. Option 1--Wholesale cancellation of the camp in its entirety and full refunds issued to affected attendees. Option 2--Rescheduling of our camp to a later date based on required visas being granted, with full refunds available to those who can not accommodate the new dates in their summer schedule. 

This issue has arose not due to any inaction or malfeasance on the part of Kincardine Minor Soccer, but Challenger have communicated this was due to the release of IEC Permit’s (Visas) from the Canadian Embassy to allow the Coaches to work in Canada. All Canadian camps that were being run in this area have been cancelled or are in the process of being cancelled. Although these Visas could come through at anytime, it doesn’t appear it will be quick enough for our Camp  given that we snapped up the priority choice expressed to us by our parents, players and previous year attendees--the week of July 6-10, 2015.


The Soccer Club was advised these applications were submitted in Nov 2014 through Challengers Immigration Lawyers and were approved by Canadian Immigration in March 2015. For unknown reasons, those Visas have not been released by the Canadian Authorities.  That is something that Challenger’s legal department is working through.


As a Soccer Club we invited Challenger to our December 2014 Executive Meeting to review the last Soccer Camp, look at areas for improvement and what would be provided in the July 2015 Camp. This exact issue was discussed and we did have assurance s from Challenger that due to the new process and their early start into it, that there would be no problems for 2015.  This, sadly, has turned out to not be the case. 


When this situation was identified to the Club  mere days ago, I went through a number of options with Challenger  myself, hoping to make  our club's timeslot for the camp work . I suggested utilising local Coaches,  or  coaches in Ontario and Canada.  This avenue did not bear fruit and there was insufficient interest and it was deemed unrealistic to train sufficient numbers of coaches for the size of soccer camp we needed to provide the standard that attendees expect from the Challenger Sports program.  As I said earlier these IECs could come through at anytime and therefore it was better to hold off as long as possible before making a final decision.  In discussions with Challenger I asked them to let you all know sooner rather than later as I understand the impact it will have on you all and the alternate arrangements you may have to make.


In addition I have contacted our local MP, Ben Lobb for assistance once it became apparent that these IECs would be the deciding factor. Indeed, other Soccer Organisations have contacted their MPs for support in this issue. However, Ben Lobb is a Politician, not a Magician and I don’t expect him to be able to do anything in such a short time frame.   With Mr. Lobb involved on our side, it is hoped that he may be able to play a role in advancing the granting of Visas for a rescheduled camp, but again, due to our time frame, it is unlikely he can help secure them within the next week. 


Rescheduled Camp

It is always best to host a Soccer Camp early into the season to maximise the benefit from the camp to the regular season, but a late camp is better than no Camp. Players typically learn much in a week, the equivalent of approximately three seasons in a Full Week of Camp. Challenger is hoping to reschedule towards the end of the month/start of August, and although not a problem for the club to support, I am also cautious that these Visas may not come through and the opportunity will be lost for this season. This, again, is where Ben Lobb may be able to help.


However, in good faith I cannot say that Challenger will be able to get the Visa’s for later in the month or early August. What I would say is that if you can accommodate changes of this nature and are prepared to go with a later date, the benefits to your kids skill level will be worth it based on previous camp experiences. 



Although of little consolation Challenger are offering full refunds if parents decide not to reschedule.


Please understand that your soccer club and executive share in the disappointment that this situation will cause, especially if our camp is indeed cancelled and our players lose that opportunity to further develop their skills. There is still hope that the Visas will be sorted in the next few days, but realistically I felt it important to advise our parents and camp attendees of the situation sooner, rather than later, in order to give you as much time as possible to make other arrangements if that is what in needed.


If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me directly or contact David Wiltcher of Challenger Sports.




Stuart Killin

President, KDMSC

Tel: 519-396-3029

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